Get NBA Ready With Our Full Body Basketball Workout

It is the dream of every young basketball player to play for the NBA. In many cases, this goal is the thing that keeps young players on the court and keeps them training hard through the year. This article is written for the aspiring player, so we hope that it will be helpful.

If you want to move up to the big leagues, you have to train like you’re in the big leagues. No one is going to give you the opportunity the fulfill your dreams unless you earn that opportunity. You earn an opportunity like that by training hard and sticking to the advice of your trainer.

About Steve Hess

Today, we will be looking at a specific trainer named Steve Hess. Steve Hess is relevant to our discussion because of the fact that he designed the workout that we will show you today. After 21 years as the head strength coach for the Denver Nuggets, there is no doubt that he has the experience to speak on this subject.

It is always interesting to read interviews with Mr. Hess, as he has a certain honesty that many people lack. We can see an example of this candor in the interview linked above. When asked about the importance of training later in life, Hess flat-out says that if you weren’t fit at 20, you’re going to have a much harder time becoming fit at 30 or 40. He says that in most cases, people who try to develop fitness later in life “will be fat as shit.”

Of course, these interviews are not just a bunch of amusing anecdotes. By reading and studying such interviews, you can get a plethora of great fitness tips from someone who is definitely qualified to give them. In the interview linked above, he talks about the importance of tailoring your workout to the results that you want.

Principles Behind The Full-Body Basketball Workout

Principles Behind The Full-Body Basketball Workout

The principles behind this training method are very simple. By training harder than everyone else, you can become harder than everyone else. Not everyone takes this philosophy, but it is clear that Steve Hess does. When we look at the workout below, which was invented by Mr. Hess, we can see that it’s meant to be a very intense workout. In fact, it is safe to say that most of you will not be able to finish it the first time through.

There is a method to this apparent madness, however. Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, just as Nietzsche said. Another important principle of this workout is the five-day training principle. For this workout, you will train for five days and then rest for two days. With such an intense workout, it is good that you can take two whole rest days. You are likely to need them.

Intensity is another important principle. You will notice that most of the exercises outlined below will have a certain level of intensity or speed that is required. Since a faster workout usually requires more intensity, these things can be measured together. This isn’t a workout that you would do as if it were a chore. This workout is meant to engage your mind, so get pumped up and get hardcore!

This approach to training is summed up in another Steve Hess interview. He says that when it’s time to train, you have to forget about everything else in your life. We all have problems, but you have to forget about those and concentrate on the matter at hand. As Hess says in the interview, your trainer doesn’t want to hear about your girlfriend or what you argued about last night. They don’t care about your post-training plans or anything like that. If they do, something might be wrong. Hess repeatedly emphasizes the importance of keeping your focus.

The Full-Body Basketball Workout

Let’s go over a specific workout that is based on the training principles outlined by Hess. This will be a five-day workout that aims at conditioning the entire body. As you will see, it’s not an easy workout, but that should be expected when you consider the source. Professional athletes don’t have time to mess around with inferior workouts, so make sure that you are aware of the strenuous nature of this workout.

Hess also repeatedly emphasizes the fact that every person is different and that every person needs a slightly different approach. For instance, if one of his players happened to get a little bit overweight, Hess would give them a routine that focused on cardio and other weight loss activities. By the same token, those who needed a little bit more muscle would receive a workout plan tailored to that goal.

Because of this, you should not be afraid to alter the workout below if you find it necessary. If there were a one-size-fits-all option, there would be no need for trainers. Because every person is different, every workout should likewise be a little different.


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Day One

Start with some work on the elliptical trainer. Start with a 10-minute session, performed at a relatively light intensity. Now, do four more sets, with each set being lower in reps and higher in intensity. The second set should be about 7-8 minutes at a medium level of intensity. The third set should last about 5-6 minutes and should be done at a higher than average intensity level. The fourth set should only be 1-2 minutes and should be done at your peak intensity.

You don’t necessarily have to use the elliptical trainer for this day. That is just our recommendation. By the way, all the exercises recommended by Steve Hess are demonstrated in this handy guide. You can actually apply this method to any exercise that you want, but here are some recommended examples:

  • Dumbbell Presses
  • Smith machine presses
  • Cable flyes
  • Lateral front raises
  • Power squats
  • Power lunges
  • Medicine ball-tossing

Day Two

For today, you will want to focus on agility and speed. All the exercises for today are arranged in groups of six sets, making it easy to keep track. You will do three agility drills, and each will be done six times. We aren’t sure why he chose this particular setup, but it’s hard to argue with a professional. This workout might seem too easy until you realize that it’s meant to be performed at 100% intensity.

Star Drills

This is done by setting out five cones in an “hourglass” formation. Practice running between these five cones in a pre-arranged pattern. For instance, you might start with the bottom left and work your way to the upper right, or vice versa. The pattern doesn’t matter a whole lot as long as you are consistent. Do the first three sets going in one direction, and then switch direction for the remaining three sets.

Full-Court Layup Sprints

This exercise is self-explanatory, which might explain why it’s not included in the guide. You sprint from one end of the court to the other with the basketball in your hand. When you reach the appropriate spot, do a layup. Pick up the ball and sprint to the other end of the court, where you will do the same. Complete a total of six layups.

Triple Extension Jumps

This is a simple jumping drill that isn’t very hard to do at all. This movement might be described as a “squat jump” because that’s essentially all that you need to do. You squat down, extending your arms and keeping your back as straight as possible. Then, you explode upward, fully extending every muscle in your legs. At the height of the jump, your legs have no bend, not even at the ankles. Point your toes to achieve that last part. As the name implies, three jumps=one rep. Thus, a set of six reps will equal 18 jumps in total. Six sets of that sort will come out to 54 jumps in total.

Day Three

Today’s workout will emphasize supersets. For those who don’t know, supersets are a combined set, in which you do two different exercises with little or no rest in between them. These are a great time-saver, and a great way to work on multiple muscle groups at the same time. These supersets are pretty hardcore, as each of them contains more than two exercises. You should take a 30-second break between each exercise and a 60-second break between each set.

First Superset

  • Swiss ball crunches (8-12 reps normal speed)
  • Cross-core 180-degree plank with a twist (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Standing low cable pulls (8-12 reps, normal speed)

Second Superset

  • One-arm lunging cable pulls (8-12 reps, fast speed)
  • Dumbbell row roll (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Kettlebell rowing (8-12 reps, fast speed)
  • Dumbbell shrugs (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Cable shrugs (8-12 reps, fast speed)
  • Dumbbell flyes (8-12 reps, normal speed)

Third Superset

  • Resistance band flyes (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Standing lat pulldowns w/bands on ankles (8-12 reps, normal speed)

Fourth Superset

  • Preacher curls (8-12 reps, normal speed
  • Dumbbell hammer curls w/squats (8-12 reps, normal speed)

Day Four

Today is leg day. As with day three, we will be doing a set of four supersets.

First Superset

  • horizontal leg press (8-12 reps, slow speed)
  • Drop-back squats (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Squats with 180-degree twist (12 reps, normal speed
  • Single-leg extensions (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Single-leg standing curls (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Single-leg seated curls (8-12 reps, normal speed)

Second Superset

  • Glute walking (10 reps, normal speed)
  • Forward resistance band walking (10 reps, normal speed)

Third Superset

  • Backward walk with resistance bands (8-12 reps, normal speed)
  • Single-leg calf raises (10 reps, slow speed)
  • Single-leg dorsi flexors (30 reps, fast speed)
  • Standing ab crunches (20 reps, normal speed)

Fourth Superset

  • Standing side crunches (20 reps, normal speed)
  • Vipr throws (8 reps, fast speed)
  • Medicine ball squat-press (8 reps, fast speed)

Day Five

Start by doing some sprint work on the treadmill. You should do sets of one minute with one minute of rest between each one. After every two sets, turn up the speed on the treadmill. Obviously, you need to be a little careful here, so that you aren’t flung off the treadmill like a rag doll. We would recommend that you start at 6 MPH and work your way up to 12 MPH. To finish up this last day, perform a full crossfit workout (your choice). Usually, we would recommend that you pick one of their “workouts of the day” at random.


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As you can see, this workout is definitely not for the faint of heart. Since most of you are probably not NBA athletes (or anything of the sort), you don’t have the same pressure to perform that an athlete does. A professional athlete has a whole crowd of people who are emotionally and financially invested in their success. You will have no such crowd, so you have to provide all of your motivation.

However, those who can overcome this hurdle and become self-motivated athletes will have done something that is truly worthwhile. Sure, you may never win an NBA championship, but you can use the same methods used by NBA athletes to improve your health and your quality of life. If you have been inspired by our work, we hope that you will hit that button below and follow us on Facebook.

The post Get NBA Ready With Our Full Body Basketball Workout appeared first on Gaspari Nutrition.

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